As usual, I'm late the the party with this bloop. I meant to do it right after getting home from Rehoboth, but work got crazy and I didn't have time to bloop from my desk so it just didn't happen.
DH and I made the long drive down to Delaware the Thursday before the race - it's about 8.5 hours from our house to the hotel in Rehoboth. Two years ago we used a Hanukkah visit with DH's mom (who lives in Baltimore) as an excuse to go to my first Loopfest, and I had so much fun we did it all again this year. We met up with the in-laws Thursday night at the hotel and spent the day with them on Friday. I'm always amazed at how many places are open there into December; in Maine, a lot of the coastal towns shut down for the winter in mid-October, so its crazy to see so many places still open.
Saturday morning arrived and I was out of bed at 5 to grab a bagel from the hotel continental breakfast by 5:30. Once I ate, I lounged around in bed for a while before waking DH up to get dressed and ready to head to the start. In the lobby we met up with DH's mom and her boyfriend along with two of their friends who live down there - one of them was running the half also. We all wandered to the start line together and signed our goodbyes and good lucks (DH's parents and their friends are deaf), and I headed over to the start line.
While I was waiting for the start I was scanning the crowd for any Loopsters I might know, but I didn't see anyone so I popped my headphones in and got my playlist ready to go.
I didn't have a time goal going into the race. I wasn't sure that I could even match the time I ran two years ago (1:58:xx), but I was going to try. Leading up to the race I hadn't been running a ton, out of laziness - I just wasn't motivated - so when the gun was about to go off, I was nervous.
I wasn't sure how fast my mother-in-law's friend was, but he looked quick, so I tried to stay with him, right around the 2 hour pace group. He and I passed each other back and forth for the first few miles until he pulled ahead - I kept him in sight for the entire race, but wasn't able to overtake him. About a half mile in, 9 minute miles felt too slow, so I started to push a little bit. Mile 1: 8:39.
Feeling good as we headed out of town, I decided to push the pace and see how far I could take it. Miles 2-5: 8:25, 8:14, 8:08, and 8:24.
My plan was working, I was pushing, but I didn't feel too uncomfortable, so I kept at it, slowly picking people off as we went. The road turns to trail around 6.5 or so (I think), and I was pretty happy to get onto the packed gravel. Miles 6-8: 8:21, 8:08, and 8:28.
It gets pretty packed in the trail, but I felt like I had room to pass when I wanted to and kept pushing the pace through the woods section. Miles 9-11: 8:15, 8:19, and 8:18.
Once we popped back out onto the road, I looked at my watch and saw that I was definitely going to PR, but by how much? I decided to drop the hammer and use what I had left in the tank going for gold. Miles 12 and 13: 7:59 and 7:48 (the .1 was 7:30 pace).
I crossed the finish line in 1:48:29, a 10-minute half-marathon PR. I could not believe it! My longest run since my full-marathon in October was about 8 miles, but I have been diligently attending boot camp classes 5-days a week, so that must have helped a lot.
After I finished I met up with DH, his parents, and their friends. Their friend had finished about 1 minute ahead of me at 1:47:25 (I told you I could see him the whole way). In the end, even though I could see where he was, I just didn't have enough to catch him...The pain faces in my race photos are epic (for some reason I can't get them to attach). We said our goodbyes (until dinner) and I headed back to the hotel for a quick shower before heading back to the beer tent.
Our friend had given us his wristband for the beer tent, so DH unexpectedly tagged along. We had a beer while we tried to find people, and then trotted down to mile 26-ish to catch up with a few people. As always, meeting people (some I hadn't met before, and a few I had) was the best part of the weekend for me. It was nice to have some familiar faces there to pull me out of my awkward shell (DH helps with that too, he is much more social than I). Apparently DH was giving out some sort of beer-needing vibe because people leaving the tent kept handing him their tickets, so the tent party continued well past the three-beer "limit!"
After some tent-time, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner with DH's parents before heading out for the night. Two years ago we were overserved during the late-night festivities, making the drive home the next day horrible. This year we made a pact that we were going to leave at midnight, no matter what, and we stuck to that plan.
Bright and early Sunday morning we were on the road - a little sleepy and a little hungover. Before we even left Rehoboth, we stopped to get bags of chips for the trip home. After a stop to see my sister in Connecticut, and a stop for Dibella's subs (and more chips), we were back on the road and home by 5 - ready for bed.
Thanks Loopsters for another great weekend! Can't wait to come back!